On July 31, 25-year-old creative technologist and LA resident Natalie Sun was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Being a creative technologist, Sun explored ways of documenting her struggle and came up with Texting with Cancer.
The site is a stream of consciousness, broken up into text bubbles with each color coded to describe Sun’s mood. Pink equals Sun’s inner thoughts, grey represents pessimism and white signifies optimism.
“I chose a minimal texting-look so readers could experience what I was going through chronologically in a familiar way,” Sun says on her website.
“I unveiled it the day before I went into my first chemo treatment so people could follow alongside as I experienced what it was like to go through chemotherapy, experience side effects, depression, and other difficulties of enduring cancer treatment while trying to live a normal life as a 25-year-old.”
The result is an intimate and powerful look at the daily minutiae of battling cancer. Everything from waiting outside the technician’s office before her first ultrasound to an illogical belief that by being nice to nurses and doctors she won’t have cancer.
There are darker moments, too. “I don’t know how much more of this I can take. The side effects are actually getting better, but I feel more and more like hating myself for putting myself through this,” Sun says in a message colored gray for pessimism.
The good news is that Natalie comes through the treatment and as of last week is still updating the project. The final message, colored white says, “Thankful to be alive, though. It’s been a good year.”
➤ Texting With Cancer [Notcot]
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.